Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for New Jersey

Q: Would paying CS based on Appendix IX-A & paying for memberships ordered in an MSA constitute a burden to the payor?

Parties entered into an MSA based on 50/50 custody. Plaintiff argued for child support and primary parent rights two years later based upon significant changes and won. Court ordered child support be paid under NJ state guidelines. Plaintiff now wants to enforce MSA that states defendant should continue to split costs of sports memberships. Defendant argues one would be paying twice for this expense, once via child support and once via MSA agreement and that the recent court order of child support and the guidelines associated should take prescriber and relive the burden of having to pay this expense twice.

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Ordinary extracurricular activities are covered in the child support guidelines but if your child's participation in a sports program is an "extraordinary" type of reoccurring expense, it can be addressed separately.

So, the 1st question is whether you agreed to share in your child's sports activities because you were not paying child support under the guidelines or whether this was/is an extraordinary type of expense and would have been shared even if you were paying child support.

Since you are looking at the guidelines, make sure that you also note who is paying the health insurance for your child and ensure that the amount is the correct sum for the child's share only - not simply someone taking the total monthly amount of the health insurance coverage and dividing it in half (since the child's share is presumably significantly less).

Make sure that the guideline worksheet is the correct one as well - shared vs sole. The difference has to do with the number of overnights you have with your child in the year.

If you have your child on an overnight basis ( or the majority of a 24-hour cycle), less than 28% of the time, then the sole parenting worksheet is used.

If you have your child 28% of the overnight time or more, then you use the shared parenting time worksheet - meaning you have 104 overnights or more per year with your child.

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